when it becomes a note

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kdawg, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    I wasn’t aware that anyone was blowing out any candles. I said that embouchure change should be the last thing we try not the first.

    I still feel that there is a big difference between having someone try rolling the lips in and having them play softly or having them relax.

    Rolling the lips changes how and where the lips contact the mouthpiece and changes where the two lips actually vibrate against each other. It also adds lip tissue to the mouthpiece cup and many people need a different size mouthpiece to make that work well. IT also affects how much lip to lip compression is needed to play every note we play, the roll itself needs to be adjusted for every register we play in, it changes the feel and need for corner tension. This can take YEARS to get right and some people never get it. I taught my first embouchure change to the rolled in concept in 74. I’ve done MANY since then. I do actually have some idea what is involved.

    There are some people who can switch in an hour I’ve seen it but there are some who can never switch. I’ve seen that too. I had a student who spent 4 years with Stevens and never got it. He thought he would never have range but by approaching from a different approach he did. BTW he is a trumpet prof with a doctorate. You don’t have to start with the extreme. You may need to go there but not start there.

    Playing softly doesn’t make this kind of abrupt change and I like it better as a first choice. Besides playing softly is a technique that Herseth endorses. And he is pretty good. ;-)

    I am very aware of the book that Mr. Schilke wrote on acoustics of brass and the affects of different materials. I got my copy of that and the book on horn acoustics from Mr. Schilke.
    Nowhere in it did he say the player didn’t need good support or the lips didn’t need it. Just that the instrument itself didn’t need it. The problem is MY horn won’t play itself.

    Of course you do realize that my talk about projection is intended as a visualization and is not 100% literal.

    When we add stiffness to the lips either by lip to lip compression, rolling in, tensing the corners or even by added mouthpiece pressure; then we make them less responsive and we need a stronger impetus of air to make them vibrate.

    This idea of projection and sending the notes farther away came from Don Jacoby who talks about it in his book ( I got it from private lessons with him.)
    Mike Vax also presented it at the ITG convention in 2001.
    Doc talks about the air shooting out of the bell of his horn like a laser and hitting the back wall of the room he plays in.

    AS far as the stomach involvement well Bobby Shew and his wedge, Bud Brisbois got Bobby started on this, Maynard Ferguson uses yoga and everyone has seen how far his stomach moves when he plays.

    These men are doing this and talking about this in regards to playing whereas Schilke was discussing horn not the player.

    I think I’ll go with the people who were actually talking about playing not about making horns. And again Mr. Schilke didn’t say we shouldn’t do this as players.

    AS for my idea that gigging adults need to be taught in a different manner from kids. Well Bruce you are free to do what you want to. AS is any other teacher.

    I think that we do students a serious disservice by lumping them together and teaching them all the same. Especially when talking about this kind of age difference and then add to that the playing commitments of gigging adults.

    Anyway the intent of having a forum like this is to help. Some posters never offer anything but I like to stay on topic and that topic was why going from Eb to E the sound thinned out.

    Every octave higher that we play the size of the aperture is cut in half.
    These numbers are not the real ones but were chosen to make the demo easier.

    Double Pedal C = 64 inches,
    Pedal C = 32 inches,
    Low C = 16 inches,
    Middle C = 8 inches,
    High C = 4 inches,
    Double High C = 2 inches,
    Triple High C = 1 inch

    You see that playing low notes teaches us to make BIG lip movements However; playing in the upper register REQUIRES us to use TINY lip movements.

    We spent years playing in the bottom 2 octaves of the horn and got really good at making these big lip movements. Now when we start playing higher we go way too far.

    This is choking off your E. This is the long explanation of my first post.
    Sometimes telling someone to relax and open up does it for them. Then we don’t have to go any farther and why get technical if it is not needed?

    The Eb and the E are the same harmonic in the series. Eb uses 2nd valve and E is open. They are the SAME except for that valve and it makes the horn longer.

    If you made NO physical change then lifting your finger should make E as strong as Eb.

    You are over doing the facial movements that is way you have squeals.
  2. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Just to be clear, I was not advocating that anyone change to a rolled-in embouchure (whatever that might be).

    "Roll-In" and "Roll-Out" as I've been using the terms in this thread refers to excercises in Jeff Smiley's method book "Balanced Embouchure". These are extreme excercises that develop dexterity, feel and strength in areas that might be undeveloped in some players. Daily practice of these excercises tends to lead to a migration of the embouchure to a more efficient and balanced embouchure without sacraficing tone, endurance or range in the interim. How that embouchure might look is not defined and will likely vary from trumpeter to trumpeter.

    Nothing in trumpet playing is without controversy. For instance the "pencil excercise" is strongly debated against by a faction of the trumpet world, despite the fact that many of us quickly experienced gains within days of first putting a pencil to lips. I'm also sure there are plenty of BE doubters. I'm just here to say that BE's been very, very good to me. After a few months of monitoring and participating in the BE forum over at TrumpetHerald I've seen nothing to indicate it's unsuitable for most players. I can't find one incident of an experienced player losing ground by trying BE.

    Best regards,

  3. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    Dave perhaps you could point out WHERE I said most people couldn't EVER play that way?

    I can't find that.

    I said there is a difference in how long before one can play a gig using a new embouchure vs working on tongue arch or breath support.

    You seriously can't disagree with that statement.

    (at least we will have something to talk about at lunch on Saturday.)

    I would have taken the same stand if you said the Stevens, Maggio, SC.... Because it is EXTREME and you don't go to the extreme first.

    Interesting choice of embouchures I listed 3 completely different ways to make compression and ALL 3 claim to be how Harry James played.

    Hey you could almost put any player in there and claims were made about them; even players who died 30 years before the book or embouchure came out.
    This is called advertising.

    You want a truth.

    NOTHING works for EVERYBODY.

    I have seen absolutely every technique there is fail with somebody.

    This is why there is more than one embouchure.

    We have to play the odds.

    Now you want to start a different thread.
    This same man but he can't play soft, his range stops at A under high C, he has air in the sound....

    Suddenly Dave it is a different ballgame.

    I would agree that he needs to use a close embouchure setting.

    I would possibly say he needed a complete change and my first answer would surely not have been to relax.

    Anyway boys I bore of this thread. Nobody wants to stay positive.

    I've given some answers and exercises he can work on.

    Time for the next thread.

    To keep it a REAL post and not like some other people; here is a trumpet exercise for this problem.

    Play an arpeggiolike passage using all 3 valves.
    start on Bb go down 1 note and up 2, then down 2 notes up 3, down 3 up 4, down 4 up 5.....

    before long you are playing your Eb but with 3 valves instead of just 2nd valve.

    This is NOT the same harmonic as Eb using 2nd valve. You are now playing higher harmonics. And you have been for several notes now.

    Don't change anything but start picking up fingers. You should be able to go higher.

    Sometimes we stop thing because we KNOW what our range is. I can't play higher than that. Trick yourself and it goes up.
  4. Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    First of all, Thanks for getting back on track, Pops!

    In addition to the soft practicing that Pops has suggested, you might try some diminished arpeggios. Sometimes, thinking harmonically will put the focus on making music, and where the "slot" is, instead of worrying about how high the note is. Allen Vizzutti spoke about this at an ITG convention, not so long ago. He stated that we all tend to look for the dreaded "high note", or notes, rather than concentrate on where it fits musically. In effect, by doing this, we paralyze ourselves. It's all about the music!

    I also agree that you are probably choking off the airstream. More than likely, your teeth are closing as you bring your lips together, while ascending. It will take a conscious effort to keep the teeth open, but once you do, the lips will remain flexible, and provide a good "pad" for the mouthpiece. The addition of a well-supported airstream will help to ensure success in the upper register.

    kdawg, it sounds as if you are bringing your lips together... yes, both of them. The only way to bring the upper lip down is to provide resistance from the lower lip. The airstream needs to be in balance the efforts of the lips, in terms of the amount of "compression" necessary to create a smaller aperture. Fast air without the proper amount of resistance will result in more volume of sound.

    To produce the "hiss", the tip of the tongue is pointing downward, and the middle of the tongue is "wedged" forward. Sometimes, it helps to think about your tongue and upper lip moving in the same direction. To understand this better, move your tongue forward, and "scrape" the top of your tongue on the cutting edge of your upper front teeth. The angle between the top of your tongue, and your upper teeth becomes smaller, which creates a faster moving, smaller airstream... IF it's well-supported. Of course, the teeth need to be open, and you may want to think of opening them slightly more, as your range increases. By bringing the tongue forward, and "wedging" or "arching" it, we keep the throat open.

    We have to understand that the movement patterns are very small, in reality. We are only working within a roughly 1/2" area, which is the diameter of the mouthpiece. Each and every note is attached to its own partial, based upon the corresponding open overtone for the note. Our job is to create the right aperture, and the right airspeed to accomplish that, as we "move" from partial to partial.

    These are all "player" adjustments. One thing that hasn't been addressed is your equipment, which hasn't been mentioned here. There is always a trade-off with mouthpieces. What we gain on one end, we lose on the other. There is no perfect mouthpiece. If you are a lead player, choose a mouthpiece that gives you the greatest success in the register that you are required to play in.

    kdawg, you might want to also have someone check to see whether you have the proper gap with your mouthpiece, on your horn. It "could be" too small, requiring you to manipulate your lips, and airstream, to an extreme, to accomplish the upper register notes. A slightly larger gap may give you a better balance, or "feel". That's just a thought.

    I hope that this helps!

    Best always,
  5. pangaea

    pangaea Pianissimo User

    Nov 10, 2003
    I'm going to agree with dcstep here. I started BE about a week and a half ago. For the record, I've played trumpet for 35 years and have become a dedicated Carusoite. BE's roll-in and roll-out are nothing more than chop calisthenics you practice daily...I'd compare them to running through tires as a football player would do in practice. A highly specific, somewhat bizarre exercise never encountered in the real world. These exercises don't change the embouchure, they simply improve it and maximize its efficiency--unless a "better" embouchure is a "changed" embouchure. After 20 minutes or so of BE, I do my Caruso and the rest of the regular trumpet stuff without thinking about my chops at all, as with Caruso. And in only 10 days I feel stronger in all registers and am blowing with noticeably less pressure--it's the classic "indirect" approach.
  6. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    Been a lot of fun.
    But this is the last day of spring break. :(

    I took off to spend time with the kids.
    WE went to 3 museums and lots of shopping, movies....

    I won't be able to be here as much but I will look in when I can.

    Dave I'll see you tomorrow.
    Be ready my hot spot is The Cowboys proposed stadium.

    Don't they realize that the State Fair of Texas happens during football season? Where do they plan to park? The fair fills it up on its own.

    BTW where were you Monday night? :evil:

    Anyway great fun here. If I have another idea :idea: I'll let you know.

    They are pretty rare and scare me :shock:

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